People Live Still in Cashtown Corners Paperback – 26 Oct 2010
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About the Author
Tony Burgess s first novel, The Hellmouths of Bewdley received universal critical praise and hailed the arrival of Canada s splatter punk Stephen King. He was shortlisted for the Trillium Award for his novel, Idaho Winter. He is also the author of the infamous zombie epic, Pontypool Changes Everything, which was named Best Book of 1998 by Now Magazine (made into the film Pontypool). His story collection, Fiction for Lovers won the Relit Prize for best Canadian short fiction. His previous novel with CZP, People Live Still in Cashtown Corners is currently being made into a film by Foresight Features and Bruce McDonald.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
But the characters were well drawn and fresh (except for the obligatory expository character who just had to be a scientist with a middle-European accent, the kind of guy Rocky Horror made fun of almost 40 years ago), and the acting was good. I was hooked at the first massed attack, off-camera of course.
The ending credits noted that the movie was based on the novel “Pontypool Changes Everything” by Tony Burgess.
So when ChiZine sent me a stack of books and among the titles was Burgess’s new work, “People Live Still in Cashtown Corners,” I felt like I won the lottery. (I’d actually won 11 ChiZine publications in a raffle, but it just keeps getting better.)
I used to be a slush reader for an on-line SF/F ‘zine and, after a couple paragraphs of first-person, present-tense narration, I usually started writing the rejection letter. It’s a tiresome contrivance in most writers’ hands. But Burgess makes it work here. The narrator is a fascinating character, but not a terribly complicated one. I could buy that he lived in an eternal present tense. His story offers insight into how we decouple who we are from the things we do, and the random elements that populate both spheres in those Venn diagrams that define each of us.
This is a horror novel, heavy on the splatter, but there’s a lot more going on. I don’t know if this is what Burgess intended, but here’s what I took away from it: What if Meursault from Albert Camus’s “The Stranger” flees the scene of the Arab he kills at the end of Part One and goes on a rampage with guns, knives and axes?
This is blood and gore for the overly ironic, chain-smoking, absinthe-drinking set. More!
His actions thereafter left an indelible mark on my mind. The random cruelty and unconscionable acts so easily performed on citizens of his small town, people he knew and those just passing through gives us pause to understand why this is happening.
Told in graphic detail from one evil act to another, our POV character questions his own actions even while carrying out each deviant deed in a clear plea to understanding exactly what brought him to this breaking point.
In a bizarre twist our marauding madman finds himself role-playing with the young daughter of a family he had just butchered. The induction of this character offers the readers an opportunity to experience our psychopath on another dimension, one where he engages in dialogue with someone other than himself.
The dark, descriptive imagery so expertly described in People still live in Cashtown Corners will stay with me a long time.
This book sucks you in right away, provides genuine shocks, and leaves you completely creeped out.
The book is short, which I like. And it feels like a "true crime" non-fiction book told from the serial killer's point of view. And yet, the character still manages to surprise you.